Here is the story of Patience Murphy in The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife. I am fascinated with childbirth and the history of childbirth just like most mothers seem to be. After giving birth to 4 babies….2 with an epidural and pain meds and 2 without, it fascinates me to the hows and wheres and whys of childbirth before the thought of an epidural, medications, prenatal care, postnatal care, surgery rooms, sitz baths, Lamaze classes and so on and so forth. I am fascinated that women had countless babies under these unfortunate circumstances and then proceeded to get up the next few days and resume their daily chores with a new baby at their hip. They didn’t have a choice….it just was their only option. Now we have countless options as mothers , and I don’t think too many realize just how fortunate we are. These women did not have regular checkups…no ultrasound to see their baby’s little fingers and toes, no glucose testing, and no prenatal vitamins. A lot of women could not afford to have a doctor deliver their baby in hospital, it was just too pricey ($20), so they relied on midwives. Most who learned the trade from another….no formal training. It all fascinates me.
So I find myself reading these books with admiration for these women….not just those who gave birth, but those who helped bring those beautiful babies into this world. Pioneers. I am truly humbled. And here is a story that I could not get enough. Patience Murphy is a midwife quite by accident. She is running from a past that could ruin her life, so with a new name and a new friend…..she falls into the life of a midwife in rural West Virginia. Patience is caught up in a time surrounded by racial tension, Stock Market Crash and poverty. I love the way she chronicles all the births she delivers…I admire her spunk and strength, I adore her spirit and was completely caught up in her relationship with Daniel Hester. I am a sucker for happiness.